How much is 1.5 billion dollars? Put it this way - if you spent a million dollars a day every day of your life and an extra million for birthdays and Christmas, you'd spend about 30,000 million. That would leave 1.47 billion unspent.
So stealing $1.5 billion in gold and silver is not only overkill, but logistically challenging. How do you steal $1,500,000,000 in gold and silver bars? Bear in mind that the weight alone is the equivalent of a small herd of African elephants.
But let's make it more interesting. Let's add a curse that dooms whosoever steals the gold. And, just in case you are not superstitious, let's also have the treasure protected by a few thousand of the world's finest soldiers.
The challenge might be daunting, but someone was up to it. Because it is a recorded historical fact that in 104 BC 100,000 pounds of gold and 110,000 pounds of silver were stolen while being transported by the Roman army from Toulouse to Marseilles.
Now we are informed that, with the chance discovery of a hidden manuscript at the Villa of Panderius, archaeologists have finally unearthed the story of the most audacious theft in history ...
The Gold of Tolosa is a fast-paced novel that takes us from the mean streets of Rome to the even meaner streets of Gaul by way of ambush, subterfuge and treachery. It tells how Lucius Panderius, noted connoisseur of fine wines and Germanic prostitutes, set out to retrieve his brothel from the Roman authorities, and ended up stealing enough gold to buy half of Italy - the richer half.